As the crowd increased, Jesus began to speak in this way, «People of the present time are evil people. They ask for a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation. The Queen of the South will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here there is greater than Solomon. The people of Nineveh will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for Jonah's preaching made them turn from their sins, and here there is greater than Jonah».
We are called by the world as a believing community, a community of believers, which goes beyond human intelligence. Sadly we have inherited from our salvation history which also narrates the infidelity of the same people and a faithful GOD. Both are two sides of the same coin. The people of old covenant is still alive in us, while proclaiming that we are the people of the new covenant in CHRIST.
Let’s not be discouraged of our past, because we have a God who sees further, not behind of our present life. It’s here Jesus seems to be disappointed with the people of then generation, which demanded a sign from God. They were not able to see the visible signs in Jesus, present before their eyes.
It’s equally important to verify our own approach towards this God. God has already given us a beautiful sign through the death and resurrection of His only begotten Son and through people and events, He continues to give many other wonderful sings today. Are we still a disappointed people, because He didn’t respond to our present prayers and waiting for a healing or caring sign, or even a miracle? If yes, what’s the difference it makes from the people of then generation and of our time? By this approach, are we participating directly or indirectly to the same evil generation that Jesus points out?
Saint Theresa of Avila says that Jesus is her friend and she will do everything for this friend, including embracing the suffering. She doesn’t wish that Jesus suffers once again and readies to suffer for Him, because she loves Him. Are we loving Jesus with the same intensity or at least trying to love Him? What’s that pure act that we present before Him, as our sign of love? Shall we make an effort to do something special for Him today? Shall we become accomplishers of the divine will?
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The sign of Jonah,
by an anonymous early author from the Greek church
"'What is the sign of Jonah? The stumbling block of the cross. So it is not the disputers of knowledge who will be saved but those who believe true teaching. For the cross of Christ is indeed a stumbling block to those who dispute knowledge but salvation to those who believe. Paul testifies to this: 'But we, for our part, preach the crucified Christ - to the Jews indeed a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God' (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). Why do the Jews seek signs and the Greeks seek wisdom? God pointed to the sign of the stumbling block of the cross to both the Jews and the Greeks. Thus those who wish to find Christ not through faith but through wisdom will perish on the stumbling block of foolishness. Those who wish to know the Son of God not through faith but through a demonstration of signs will remain trapped in their disbelief, falling on the stumbling block of his death. It is no small wonder that the Jews, considering the death of Christ, thought he was merely a man, when even Christians - as they purport to be but really are not - because of his death are reluctant to declare the only begotten, the crucified, as incomparable majesty." (excerpt from INCOMPLETE WORK ON MATTHEW, HOMILY 30, the Greek fathers).